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I want to lacquer my exterior windows

Which lacquer do I need to paint my wooden windows? Should I lacquer or should I stain? What is the difference between lacquering and staining? Can I still lacquer previously stained windows? Can I also lacquer my PVC or aluminium window frames? Here we will give you all the answers, a step-by-step plan with lots of tips, and some top products that you can use.

STEP 1: PREPARATION

First, it's best to cover the glass and the adjoining outer walls with masking tape before you start painting so that you do not accidentally paint them along. If there are shutters on the window, you can remove them to make the process easier. Then comes the most important part of the preparation: making the surface 'paint ready. Any old paint on the window frame that is already cracked or flaking should be removed first. Cleaning and degreasing are also a must for the adhesion of the paint. For new wooden window frames, you can do this with synthetic thinner (but not white spirit, as this leaves a greasy film). Wood that has been painted before can be degreased with water and a dash of ammonia or Berdy Clearline. For the adhesion of the paint, you should also sand and dust the wood. For PVC or aluminium window frames, it's sufficient to clean them with water or detergent. If you use detergent, be sure to rinse well with clean water, so that no detergent remains on the window frame. 

STEP 2: APPLYING PRIMER

Primer for wooden window frames

Apply two coats of synthetic wood primer to your wooden window frames (or shutters). You can also opt for a one-pot system, with which you can both pre-treat and finish. You need three coats of this system in total — a primary coat, an intermediate coat and a top coat (the latter being what would otherwise be step 3). If your windows have been lacquered before and if that lacquer is still intact, then you don't need to apply primary coats, but after the necessary preparation, you can immediately apply the finishing coat (step 3). Two primer coats, three coats of a one-pot system... Do you think this is all a bit much paintwork? If you do, then remember it really is essential, because your finishing coat will only adhere well to a sufficiently prepared and primed surface.

Primer for aluminium or PVC window frames

For aluminium or PVC windows, you need to use a multi primer. Just one coat is enough. This protective primer ensures good adhesion of the following (finishing) coat.